Many of us have been deeply affected by the suffering and uncertainty we feel all around us. In the midst of a global pandemic that has claimed over 100,000 American lives, we are also grieving our brothers and sisters in the Black community who continue to suffer greatly due to structural inequities in our system. Mahatma Gandhi said “the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” We, as Hindus, are always determined to find common ground with the most vulnerable in our society. We know that a society cannot prosper if it leaves anyone behind. The Hindu philosophy of Vasudaiva Katumbakam teaches us that we are all one family. We all belong to the same race, the human race. We are all children of the same creator, regardless of how we worship. As children of that creator we also stand and mourn with the Black community as they have lost George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others dating back to Rodney King in 1992. Too many of our brothers and sisters have been targeted simply because of the color of their skin. This is unjust and as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
All of us, our parents, or our grandparents have come to this country as immigrants. All of us hold American ideals deeply within our hearts. We must understand that if not for the black community fighting for the rights of people of color, we would not be able to enjoy the rights we cherish today. One of the results of the Civil Rights Movement was the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965 which allowed South Asians to emigrate to this country. We can no longer be silent or turn a blind eye to the suffering that continues for our Black brothers and sisters. As a religious institution committed to Seva, Justice, and Dialogue, we encourage all of our members to have important discussions with each other and family members about racism and discrimination in our country and community. Gandhi taught us that “[we] may never know what results come of [our] actions, but if [we] do nothing, there will be no results.” It is time to educate ourselves and one another to be active and help fight for equality. The words of Gandhi inspired MLK’s nonviolent activism, and they must continue to inspire us to support the Black community in the fight to end structural oppression and institutionalized racism. HTCI commits to supporting the Black community in the fight to end structural oppression and institutionalized racism.